Friday, November 16, 2018

Writing: Is A Writer Different?

I recently had occasion to address a shipping label to a fellow writer. She's multi-published and rapidly making a name for herself in suspense fiction, yet she lives in a relatively small town in one of the southern US states and is very unassuming. This made me think about the mental picture of authors most people have--and the truth of the matter. It's been well established that some writers prefer solitude, yet our perception of them somehow is different than that.

Admittedly, the authors with whom I've become acquainted are those writing in the Christian genre, so this may not be true of all authors. But I suspect there's an element of truth across the board.

I've had twelve novels published, and Emergency Case will be my fifth novella, so I'm pretty well established as an author. Do I get recognized in public? Not a chance. Is there at least some recognition at church or among my friends of my position? Not really. Does my status get me a preferred tee time? Get real! The only thing I see different is that, when I take my car in for service, the manager asks if I have any new books out--because I always give him one.

Do I live in a nice house, or perhaps an apartment with a fancy address? Nope. So far as living on Park Avenue in New York or even University Park in Dallas, put those fantasies to bed. We moved from one small north Texas suburb to another about ten years ago, downsizing as we went. No mansion, no fancy apartment. Just a simple, one-level house.

Do I spend my time traveling to wonderful places for research or to write? Lawrence Block usually thanks owners of estates and such places who make them available to him while he writes. I labor (usually in my robe and slippers) in a small room on a laptop computer. And as for travel, I do my research online, believing Nolan Ryan was right: Anyone who thinks travel is glamorous hasn't done enough of it.

Most of us are just plain folks. But we hope you enjoy the way we put the words together for you, regardless of the glamour (or lack thereof) in our lives.

Tweet with a single click. "Do you picture authors as special people?"


Priscilla Bettis said...

I am an UNpublished author, but maybe I can weigh in. After a long writing session, I feel like I've been chatting for hours. All those words jumbled around in my head! I enjoy solitude on those days for sure. Maybe other writers are like that, too.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, you're a writer whose work just hasn't been published yet. Don't sell yourself short.
I just finished a blog post for Southern Writers magazine inspired by a mug I saw recently advertised on Facebook: Writer's block is when your imaginary friends won't talk to you. We get so used to the people talking in our heads that we like silence sometimes. Thanks for your comment.

Paula Shreckhise said...

I appreciate your honesty, Richard. I appreciate you just the way you are! Happy writing! Blessings, too!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Paula. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Debbie Rhoades said...

To us readers, you are very special. You are our rock stars. You write! I think you are the absolute cat's meow, Dr Mabry!

Patricia Bradley said...

This made me think about the mental picture of authors most people have--and the truth of the matter:

When people discover I write romantic suspense, they look at me and say, "but you look so sweet.": lol I'm not sure what a suspense writer is supposed to look like.

Richard Mabry said...

Debbie, didn't see your comment, for some reason. Thanks for leaving one.

Patricia, did you recognize the multi-published author who lives in the south?